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History Tells Story Of Tate Brady, Divides City Council

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There are few people who have had so much positive press when they died, and so much negative attention 88 years later. There are few people who have had so much positive press when they died, and so much negative attention 88 years later.
Thursday evening, the Tulsa City Council delayed a vote on changing the name of Brady Street after councilors deadlocked on a decision. Thursday evening, the Tulsa City Council delayed a vote on changing the name of Brady Street after councilors deadlocked on a decision.
The council didn't actually vote, but councilors Bynum, Ewing, Henderson and Steele said they would vote to change it. The council didn't actually vote, but councilors Bynum, Ewing, Henderson and Steele said they would vote to change it.
Councilors Cue, Gilbert, Moore and Patrick are against it. Councilors Cue, Gilbert, Moore and Patrick are against it.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Thursday evening, the Tulsa City Council delayed a vote on changing the name of Brady Street after councilors deadlocked on a decision.

The tie came after hours of public discussion about a man no one at the meeting ever met--the long dead Tate Brady.

There are few people who have had so much positive press when they died, and so much negative attention 88 years later.

08/08/2013 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Tables Vote On Brady Street Name Change

Brady helped build the north side of downtown, but was clearly part of the racial divide in Tulsa, then and now.

The division on the city council over changing the name came down to two sides: Councilors who said their constituents were against it, and councilors passing judgment on the life of Tate Brady.

"And I don't want to live in a town that honors dishonorable people," councilor Blake Ewing said.

The memory of the 1921 Race Riot figures in to the discussion because Brady was in the Ku Klux Klan the years before then. He was reported to be a "night watchman," protecting property during the riot.

There's more on Brady's reputation in the history books and in files at the Tulsa library.

Read this account of Tate Brady in historical records

Brady committed suicide in 1925, not long after the accidental death of his son.

The shock at the loss of a town pioneer prompted quotes such as, "It's men like Tate Brady who build a town."

His interest in north Tulsa was noted only in positive terms, but that's typical of newspaper accounts from that time.

Brady is buried not far from downtown, with an unremarkable headstone considering his wealth.

He clearly helped build Tulsa, but his modern legacy is shaped by his ties to the Klan; it's the reminder of that on street signs and businesses that's driving the debate.

07/12/2013 Related Story: Business Owners Don't Want Brady District's Name To Change

The council heard from dozens of people pushing for the name change and a few against it.

The council didn't actually vote, but councilors Bynum, Ewing, Henderson and Steele said they would vote to change it. Councilors Cue, Gilbert, Moore and Patrick are against it.

Councilor Lakin, the deciding vote, was absent on vacation.

The council plans to vote on the name next Thursday, with all the councilors at the table.

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